There is not just one method to reach a settlement. Every case has its unique personality. For some cases, the resolution is obvious. Other cases are less clear and require the perseverance and clarity to obtain the ultimate settlement.
I recently had a discussion with a friend who is very experienced mediator about his practice. He lamented that he felt like every mediation ended up with him begging for an offer. My view is somewhat different. I find that instead of begging for an offer I am more focused on understanding each side’s position. I view myself as each side’s advocate seeking that elusive settlement.
So, is there one formula that will always work to get a case settled? Unfortunately, no. A good mediation will inform the parties of the other side’s position and the stumbling blocks towards resolution.
As I told my friend, it is not a mediator’s job to beg for an offer. Rather, it is to understand what is required to resolve the case. Getting to yes (settling a case) may require time. The parties may require more information, or they may require a legal issue to be decided first by the trial judge before the case is ripe for settlement. Sometimes it is simply a matter of getting the right decisionmaker involved. There may not to be one path that will always work to settle a case, but the good news is that there is always a path.